After two weeks of testimony, the city’s 2nd Ward election fraud trial has been extended to mid-October in a case that has been described as a “quagmire.”
On the seventh day of trial Thursday afternoon, the court heard from one voter, Abdul Razzak. He testified having voted using a mail-in ballot.
Razzak said he was assisted by Nuruzzaman Suhel. “I check marked it myself,” he told the court when former councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman’s attorney Susan Champion asked whether Suhel assisted him in picking a candidate.
The trial began at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Much of the afternoon was dedicated for testimony from Passaic County Superintendent of Elections Office investigator Wayne Hamilin. Councilman Shahin Khalique’s attorney John Carbone continued his cross examination of Hamilin from the previous day’s testimony.
Carbone sought documents associated with Hamilin’s investigation. The investigator searched through his documents. As he was searching through a large folder of documents, Passaic County assignment judge Ernest Caposela called for a conference with all the attorneys in the case.
The conference lasted more than an hour. The judge said some “progress” have been made in the case and said both sides’ attorneys will apprise their clients.
Champion said the judge and the attorneys discussed scheduling for the case. When asked what occurred at the conference, Carbone said the question be directed to the judge.
The conference resulted in a small victory for Khalique. The investigator will not be further testifying in the case.
Carbone had vigorously objected to allowing Hamilin to testify arguing the investigator’s testimony will simply be some “hearsays.”
Khalique’s team also successfully prevented former detective and private investigator Steve Olimpio from testifying as an expert witness in the case on the first day of trial.
Akhtaruzzaman’s team will have to continue the process of bringing in large number of witnesses to make its case.
The trial will resume on Tuesday morning.